Preliminary probe by the police reveal that the family had first arrived in Delhi, then moved to Hyderabad and later to Thiruvananthapuram.

Five member Rohingya family held by police in ThiruvananthapuramImage for representation only
news Rohingya Tuesday, October 02, 2018 - 18:12

A five-member Rohingya family has been identified and taken into custody by Kerala police in Thiruvananthapuram after the group arrived in Vizhinjam on Tuesday morning. According to a preliminary probe, the family of Myanmar refugees first arrived in Delhi and then moved to Hyderabad.

“It looks like they moved from Delhi to Hyderabad and then took a train to reach Thiruvananthapuram this morning. We have identified and taken them into custody. They will now be questioned by the intelligence department before taking further action,” said an officer at the Vizhinjam police station.

The five members have been identified as Sayub (36), his wife Safiya Kathum (29), his brother Irshad (27), Safiya’s brother Anwar Shah (11) and her six-month-old baby Safiyan, the officer confirmed.

“Once the questioning is completed, they may either be moved to a camp in Hyderabad or they may be allowed to stay back and look for an occupation in Kerala; it depends on the authorities. As of now, questioning is happening to understand their background and check for any terror links,” the officer added.

The family reportedly also carried United Nations refugee cards with them.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Friday had sent out a confidential communication, which informed that a mass exodus of Rohingyas into Kerala can be expected. According to the notice, Rohingyas from other parts were taking trains to reach Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The communications listed 14 trains, including TVC express, MAS express, CAPE express, TPJ express, PDY and TBM Express, on which the Rohingyas are supposedly travelling to Kerala.

“All Rohingyas are travelling in groups along with their families,” the note further added. “Officers and staff under your control may be sensitised about their movements. If they are found in trains, they may be handed over to police having jurisdiction for further action. Action taken report may be sent to this office at the earliest for the perusal of Principal Chief Security Commissioner (PCSC),” the missive directs.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had confirmed that the communication was based on their intelligence inputs. When TNM contacted RPF Principal Chief Security Commissioner P Sethu Madhavan, who sent the missive, he confirmed sending it based on intelligence from the Home Department but stated that they were not provided with any numbers expected.

The Kerala state police have been on alert following the missive. The Chief Minister’s Office told TNM, “The state police is on alert following the information, especially at the places, where they are supposed to arrive. But the other plans like how the issue will be dealt with is yet to be decided.”The Thiruvananthapuram Division of the Railways has, however, not received any information regarding the missive or the matter, according to sources.

Ironically, it is the Thiruvananthapuram police that has first identified and taken into custody a Rohingya migrant family that has entered the state.

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